Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Writ and Testament

An odd sort of blog, this writ and testament is for my family. But you may read it if you don’t mind involvement in, what some might label, a rather dark discussion. And if you do make that choice, please feel free to comment.

To my three daughters, there is so much to and fro about last writs and testaments being legally verified, probated, and authenticated. There is much to-do about them being blessed, signed, sealed, and witnessed by lawyers who rack up phenomenal fees for separation and execution of each one of these abstractions. The profusion and confusion leads me to believe that I can no longer expect expressions in a simple letter stashed in my safety deposit box to be upheld. But hey, if my writ is buried in my blog, who can defy its authenticity?

And so, firstly, I want medical intervention, but not extreme intervention, if I become critically ill. You know that for me quality of life has to do with simple basic considerations. My needs are like those of a child. So although I may some day be too sick to express my needs, I want little more than basic comforts. I want to be dry, clean, and warm. I want cotton bedding and comforting arms if I am sad. I want food and drink. And I don’t want any excuses that I might choke to death or linger if given either. If I choke to death, so be it. If I linger, Health Care may just have to redo their budget or cut-back expenses in some other budget designation. And girls, please forgive me, if these considerations force you to attend my bedside for three months rather than three days.

I know much of this goes without saying, knowing that each of you are of a mind that so closely parallels my own except perhaps, for a couple of other considerations.

I want fresh air, an open window, and a beam of sunlight. I want morphine for pain but girls, track those dosages, I don’t want extra to hurry me on my way. When bedridden, I want to be turned on my side – with a small quilt folded between my knees – cause you know my back kills me when I lie on my back for more than a few moments. And I would consider as a nice gratuity, soft Hymns of transport.

What I don’t want is to go into palliative care until I am drawing my last breath. Already I can’t sleep in a bed that has a grand oak headboard. When I am half-asleep and I awake looking up at a towering grand oak headboard, my mind starts playing nasty tricks on me.

And for those possessions I own, I want you to divide them equally except the stuff in my craft room. For that stuff, whoever is brave enough and willing enough to clean it out, that courageous person is entitled to additional compensation. Compensation, that I am sorry to say, cannot be provisionally provided through ownership of the goodies stored there.

Now I may be naïve but I hoping that with this blog I can supersede the many aspects of the legal system. And in that confidence, it seems I have no need to make all those extraneous determinations that society insists are pertinent.

Truth is, I am pretty chaffed by the modern philosophy about death that has trimmed medical intervention in an acute way (to reduce costs), while expanding legal costs to the departee that are as big as the sea and the sky. Seems like, if I follow all the terms of current protocol, there ends up being such a bombardment of concerns it could drive me to take desperate measures. Maybe even Euthanasia? The risk is real but as long as I have my wits about me, I will not allow that to happen.

And so, yes, I realize that if I am wrong, if a blog-writ is unacceptable and if I have no ‘legal’ writ, the Public Trustee will tie up everything. But, so what, if this writ is unsatisfactory, let him do that. I laugh to think what he will do with all those scraps of lace, dress patterns, quilt blocks, and scraps of fabric even if he does take my sewing machine. But by God, girls, if this blog post isn’t good enough, and he wants my stuff, let him be the one to clean out the craft room in the basement.

And in conclusion, when I have transferred, do what you like. I will be in God’s hands and it matters not to me at that point what happens to the ‘vessel’ I have vacated.

It goes without saying, but to any skeptical attorneys, barristers, or solicitors, this post contains the express wishes of Roberta Smith of Elusive Abstractions.


Matty said...

Are you planning on taking a trip, Roberta? Anytime soon??
I hope not!
Thanks for reminding me to do what I must! I made my will 2 years ago, with a notary.....and very simple...All of my worldly goods, assets, etc, to be given to both my sons, to be divided equally.
But I didn't think about the important things,,,my books, my cookbooks, my plants, knicknacks, dolls.....would they fight over it? maybe their wives/girlfriends would? What to do? What about my 3 pieces of jewelry? my special platters and bowls that I've had for ages? would the boys fight over them? the furniture?

The last thing any mother would want is her kids fighting over the quilt or the grandfather's clock....or the empty 'hope' chest!
And they do! In the past few years I've seen families torn asunder over a dresser, a ring, the buffet, a crock pot!
It makes a lot of sense to not only write a notarized will, but to specify who gets what...right down to the nitty-gritty.
In my file drawer, under my computer desk, I have a file,,marked 'Mom's'....both sons are well aware that if anything should happen, they are to follow the instructions in said file!
Insury policies, burial wishes, which church, what songs, etc.....and now...I have more work to do...who gets what.....the photo albums,,,the few antiques I have....oh crap, I'll have to get rid of some letters,,,and girl toys...(dolls, that is!)??
Why is death so darn complicated?
Seriously, I've seen families torn apart over material things..to the point of not speaking. And that's sad!
And of course, instructions to send my last post to my blog, so all my blogger friends will be aware that I no longer will be blogging...depending on where I go? I think you can send letters from heaven, but from Hell? dont' think so...too damn hot!
Decisions, decisions!

Roberta S said...

No matty, I'm not planning on going anywhere soon -- not to a notary or lawyer or any other place either. I hoped if anyone read this it would lessen their concerns but in your case it seems to have expanded them.

I don't think I said anything to cause that to happen. I guess I just have to surmise you are more attentive to details than I am.

Joy Des Jardins said...

This very same thing has been on my mind lately Roberta. I know I have to think about a will, and have been delinquent, but I hate the whole lawyer thing. Reading your post reminds me of the importance of getting these things in order.

Anonymous said...

After what I'm going through for three years now with my Dad's estate, you'd think I'd have written up a will just to protect those I love, and prevent them from repeating the past. I love your ideas, and respect your right to put it out here in journal form. Lawyers however don't seem to take even legal documents for what they clearly state so I doubt that this will hold up unfortunately. If nothing else, print the post out, date it, sign it, and stick it someplace safe.

susan @ spinning

Dick said...

Straight to the top of my pile of documents to be given immediate attention: the new wills for Emma & I. Bleak thoughts, Roberta, but necessary ones. Thanks.

Roberta S said...

joy, thanks for the comment. I guess I feel like you do. This blog could have been more aptly titled, "I Hate Dealing with Lawyers."

Having said that, I must admit that if you own property you best get things in order. My 'blog testament' might work for household distribution among my own family, but it definitely will not be taken seriously for redistribution of any real estate.

Roberta S said...

Hi susan. This is as far as I'm going. There will be no lawyers and no 'will kit'. I'm hoping this will hold up but if not, I'll get the girls to forward it to the press and an extra copy to Nancy Grace (of Court TV). I'm certain she'd read it and dive in straight-away with all her claws showing. It might even rule the airways as long as the Anna Nicole saga.

I was going to seek your forgiveness for such silliness, but in this old world sillier things are happening, so maybe not. ;)

Roberta S said...

dick, you're making me wish I hadn't written this. I hate to think that I've got everyone hunkered down to such bleak business because of a blog I wrote. Maybe we'll just run now and move on to another discussion.

Hub always says when I share my two-bits worth, that makes me share responsibility for another's actions. Guess he's right. But how do I avoid it when I have this compelling need to write all that I am thinking?

Still dick, I'm pleased you stopped by. Always am.